Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev (/prəˈkɒfiɛf, pr-, -ˈkɔː-, -ˈk-, -jɛf, -jɛv, -iəf/; Russian: Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев, tr. Sergej Sergejevič Prokofjev; 23 April 1891 – 5 March 1953) was a Russian and Soviet composer, pianist and conductor. As the creator of acknowledged masterpieces across numerous musical genres, he is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century. His works include such widely heard works as the March from The Love for Three Oranges, the suite Lieutenant Kijé, the ballet Romeo and Juliet – from which "Dance of the Knights" is taken – and Peter and the Wolf. Of the established forms and genres in which he worked, he created – excluding juvenilia – seven completed operas, seven symphonies, eight ballets, five piano concertos, two violin concertos, a cello concerto, a Symphony-Concerto for cello and orchestra, and nine completed piano sonatas.

A graduate of the St Petersburg Conservatory, Prokofiev initially made his name as an iconoclastic composer-pianist, achieving notoriety with a series of ferociously dissonant and virtuosic works for his instrument, including his first two piano concertos. In 1915 Prokofiev made a decisive break from the standard composer-pianist category with his orchestral Scythian Suite, compiled from music originally composed for a ballet commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev of the Ballets Russes. Diaghilev commissioned three further ballets from Prokofiev – Chout, Le pas d'acier and The Prodigal Son – which at the time of their original production all caused a sensation among both critics and colleagues. Prokofiev's greatest interest, however, was opera, and he composed several works in that genre, including The Gambler and The Fiery Angel. Prokofiev's one operatic success during his lifetime was The Love for Three Oranges, composed for the Chicago Opera and subsequently performed over the following decade in Europe and Russia.

After the Revolution, Prokofiev left Russia with the official blessing of the Soviet minister Anatoly Lunacharsky, and resided in the United States, then Germany, then Paris, making his living as a composer, pianist and conductor. During that time he married a Spanish singer, Carolina Codina, with whom he had two sons. In the early 1930s, the Great Depression diminished opportunities for Prokofiev's ballets and operas to be staged in America and western Europe. Prokofiev, who regarded himself as composer foremost, resented the time taken by touring as a pianist, and increasingly turned to Soviet Russia for commissions of new music; in 1936 he finally returned to his homeland with his family. He enjoyed some success there – notably with Lieutenant Kijé, Peter and the Wolf, Romeo and Juliet, and perhaps above all with Alexander Nevsky.

The Nazi invasion of the USSR spurred him to compose his most ambitious work, an operatic version of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace. In 1948 Prokofiev was criticized for "anti-democratic formalism" and, with his income severely curtailed, was forced to compose Stalinist works, such as On Guard for Peace. However, he also enjoyed personal and artistic support from a new generation of Russian performers, notably Sviatoslav Richter and Mstislav Rostropovich: he wrote his ninth piano sonata for the former and his Symphony-Concerto for the latter.

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Album + Soundtrack

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2000 Ivan the Terrible (Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra feat. conductor: Vladimir Fedoseyev) Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев 1
2004 Alexander Nevsky Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
Sinfonia concertante e-moll op. 125 für Violoncello und Orchester - III. Andante con moto (Alt.) Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2006 Dances of Antilla Girls (Olga Erdeli) Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев 1
2006 Ivan the Terrible (Yurlov State Academic Chorus) Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев 1
2006 Love for Three Oranges: March (Vladimir Spivakov International Charity Foundation) Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев 1
2006 Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 16 (Winston Choi) Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев 1
2007 Piano Concerto No. 1 in D-flat major, Op. 10 (State Academic Symphony Orchestra feat. piano: Alexei Lubimov, conductor: David Oistrakh) Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев 1
Peter und der Wolf Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев 1

Other + Audiobook

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2004 Pierre et le loup (Michel Galabru, Orchestre de chambre de Genève) Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев 1
2007 Prokofjev: CD-boek Assepoester Prokofjev; Russisch Nationaal Orkest, Mikhail Pletnev 1

Unspecified type

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1984 Peter and the Wolf / Carnival of the Animals Prokofiev, Saint-Saëns; התזמורת הפילהרמונית הישראלית 1
1984 Romeo & Juliet: Excerpts from Suites 1 & 2 (Cleveland Orchestra) Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев 1
1988 Guerre et Paix Prokofiev; Chœur de Radio France, Orchestre National de France, Mstislav Rostropovitch 1
1990 Peter und der Wolf Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев 1
1991 Violin Concertos Пётр Ильич Чайковский & Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев; 竹澤 恭子, Большой симфонический оркестр имени П. И. Чайковского & Владимир Иванович Федосеев 1
1992 Scythian Suite, Alexander Nevsky Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев 1
1994 Sergei Prokofiev Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев 1
1994 Symphony no. 1 “Classical” / Symphony no. 5 Serge Prokofiev; Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, André Previn 1
1996 Cantata "Alexandr Nevsky" / Balletto "Romeo e Giulietta" Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев 1
1997 Peter en de Wolf Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев 2
1999 Schumann: Piano Sonata no. 1 / Scarlatti: 5 Keyboard Sonatas / Bach / Tchaikovsky / Prokofiev Schumann, Scarlatti, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev; Emil Gilels 1
2001 Otto erzählt "Peter und der Wolf" Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев 1
2001 Prokofiev Romeo & Juliet, Op. 64 (Excerpts) Sergei Prokofiev; Berliner Philharmoniker, Esa-Pekka Salonen 1
2002 Pieces enfantines Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев; Pietro Galli 1
2013 Works for Cello and Piano Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev; Julian Steckel, Paul Rivinius 1
Cinderella, op. 87 / On the Dnieper, op. 51 Prokofiev; USSR Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky 1
Enfant Terrible Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев 1
Enfant Terrible 2 Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев 1
Ivan the Terrible Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев 1
Lt. Kije Suite Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев 1
Masur Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев 1
Peter and the Wolf / Carnival of the Animals Prokofiev, Saint‐Saëns; London Symphony Orchestra 1
Peter und der Wolf oder: Serge, wir wollen Musik! Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев 1
Sonatas for Cello and Piano Prokofiev / Shostakovich 1
Symphony No. 6, Op. 111 / Waltzes / Suite For Orchestra Op.110 (National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Theodore Kuchar) Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2011-08-06: BBC Proms 2011: Prom 30: Royal Albert Hall, City of Westminster, London, England, UK Gabriel Prokofiev / Benjamin Britten / Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев 1

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